|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Dear Brittany, Every feeding level in a food chain in an ecosystem is a trophic level. In a simplified scheme, the plants belong to the first trophic level, the animals that eat plants to the second trophic level, and the animals that eat other animals to the third trophic level. A food chain could be complex and have many trophic levels. The prefix "oligo" means "few". So, an oligotrophic ecosystem has only a few feeding levels. An oligotrophic lake or bog has low concentrations of nutrients and as a result contains only a few species and relatively small populations of aquatic plants and animals. The food chain in an oligotrophic lake would be relatively simple with only a few trophic levels. The following site discusses the classifications of lakes. http://www.mlswa.org/lkclassif1. htm Aydin Orstan
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